I'm wanting to purchase new boots before show season kicks off next year. I tried on a pair of the Ariat Volants, and LOVED them. However, they are out of my price range (unless they go on sale) and the saleswoman said not to wear them in the washrack. Now obviously I won't be standing in knee-deep water all day every day in my boots, but I ride 5-6 horses four days a week, and usually have to hose at least a couple of them off. I don't have the time to take boots off before I step into the washrack, then put them back on before I hop on the next horse in the cross ties.
If my current boots hold up I would have no problem saving my new boots (after I break them in) for shows/clinics only, but at some point I will have to retire my current ones, and I need boots that will hold up to almost daily use. I take good care of my boots and clean them every day before I put them away. Comfortable soles are a must!
Just trying to see what boots are recommended by the masses.
I had a pair of Boulets that lasted and lasted and lasted (approx. 10 years), through working student stints, travelled to England and back, you get the drift. They were dress boots though, and no zippers.
Currently have a pair of Ariat Heritage (II, I think) for shows. I know those wouldn't last for 5-6 horses 4 days a week. I went with Ariat Terrain (or whatever the waterproof version is) paddock shoes and Dublin half-chaps. That combination lasted and lasted and lasted (I think the paddock shoes were 3 years of absolutely continuous use, plus hiking in them).
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
I got a pair of Mountain Horse Venice field boots for Christmas two years ago, and I LOVE them. They look stylish and are so comfortable, and still look fantastic. I wear them every time I ride (usually 3x a week) and for all the associated barn chores.
One by one lots of the other former Ariat owners at my barn are switching over to these boots.
I needed an emergency pair of tall boots a couple of months ago, as my zipper kept breaking right before a show. I tried on lots of pairs - Treadstep, Mountain Horse, etc. and none fit me right. In a fit of panic, I ran into Dover and tried these on: http://www.doversaddlery.com/middleb...ot/p/X1-38461/
and I LOVED them. They didn't require much break-in, and they have a lovely elastic gusset that isn't hideous like some that make them much more fitted through the ankle, but still able to zip over my calf. Now I have only worn them half a dozen times or so (at shows only), so I can't speak to how they will hold up long term, but I thought they were a great deal for $250 - I think they look like much more expensive boots.
I just bought these about 2 weeks ago and I LOVE THEM. Very little break-in time and a nice fit all the way around. I've never had a pair of zip-up boots that fit me so well in the ankle, so finding this pair was such a pleasant surprise.
I got my Volants last January and ride 2-3 horses a day in them most days (as well as doing all of my barn work in them). They are wet much of the time between hosing the horses down in the summer and the ENDLESS MUD in the winter. They're still in like new condition, so I'm not sure I would worry too much about the wash rack warning. I feel like that's something that will tend to break down ANY boots faster (in theory).
My only complaint is that I bought my normal Ariat size and they fit really nicely out of the box. After breaking them in I think that they're too big through the calf in part because of the stretchy part of the boot.
I absolutely love my Dublin's. I abuse mine. Driving in them, foxhunting, chores, etc. have had them for two years now (and I bought them used on eBay) and they still clean up nicely enough that I wear them for our formal hunts.